Meijer joins EPA program pledging to reduce food waste by 50%

EPA says 75 billion pounds of food worth $161 billion were wasted in 2017
Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 11:09 AM EST
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WJRT) - Meijer is one of the newest companies to join a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that aims to reduce food waste by 50% before 2030.

The Grand Rapids-based retail chain is pledging to cut food waste by half from its operations over the next decade. UNFI, a North American food wholesaler, also is joining the program with Meijer.

The U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions program is designed to protect resources by improving food system efficiencies and cutting waste.

“Unfortunately, most of America’s current daily waste is in fact wasted food,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We welcome UNFI and Meijer to our Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions program. Their efforts and leadership will help us reach our national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.”

The most recent EPA data from 2017 shows that 75 billion pounds of food ended up in landfills or incineration facilities, which is more than the amount of household garbage. That wasted food cost retailers and consumers about $161 billion, took up valuable landfill space and created additional methane emissions.

The EPA pointed out that the energy, labor and other resources consumed to produce that food also was wasted.

National companies like Amazon, Kroger, Walmart, ConAgra, General Mills and Kellogg’s also are part of the EPA 2030 food waste reduction program.

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